Biography of Samuel McReynolds
Posey County, Indiana Biographies

Samuel M. McReynolds, a member of an old established family, and son of Revolutionary ancestry, was born in Smith township, Posey county, Indiana, August 22, 1840. His parents were Joseph and Elizabeth (Compton) McReynolds, the former also a native of Smith township and the son of Samuel McReynolds, the son of Joseph McReynolds, who enlisted in the Revolutionary war at the age of seventeen years and served seven years. He was a native of Tennessee and of Scotch Irish ancestry. The first of the family to come to this country from the highlands of Scotland were James and John McReynolds, and this sketch deals with their descendants. Joseph McReynolds, the Revolutionary soldier, came to Posey county, Indiana, before the State was admitted to the Union, and his grandson, Joseph, the father of our subject, was born here in 1816. In coming to the new home from Tennessee the wife of Joseph McReynolds was drowned in crossing Barr's creek in Smith township. Samuel McReynolds attended the common schools of his township in a log building with puncheon seats and desks made of a plank fastened to the sides of the room. There were no blackboards, charts or other facilities for instruction. Later a better school house was built and better equipment installed. After his father's death he worked for his board among the farmers while attending school. After saving a little money he went to school at Owensville, then a graded school of two rooms. After completing this course he began teaching school and continued for four years, at the same time studying penmanship, in which he later completed a course in Indianapolis. After this he taught penmanship at night in addition to his day duties as teacher and saved about $2,000. He then married and went to farming on the Wabash bottoms. The first year the floods destroyed all crops and he went to Kansas in 1869, where he settled on Osage Indian land, twelve miles south of Eureka in Greenwood county. With the exception of two neighbors, one living one half mile away and the other four miles, there were no settlers in the vicinity. At that time Indians were numerous and buffalo roamed the plains in thousands. On one occasion Mr. McReynolds went buffalo hunting with his neighbors. While hunting near Medicine Lodge, about 15o miles west of his home, they were warned that the Indians were about to raid that part of the country, and as they were about through hunting they went home at once. Two weeks later they heard news of the terrible Indian raid. There being no railroads the news traveled slowly. He remained in Kansas about three years, when he sold out and brought his family back to Posey county. On their return his wife's father gave her eighty acres of swamp land. He improved this property and lived on it seven or eight years, farming and raising stock. He then bought his present farm of 253 acres of land in Smith township and continued in farming and stock raising until 1891, when he retired from active business, and has since devoted his time to looking after his interests. Mr. McReynolds is an example of a self made man, having hired out on a farm, clerked in drug and dry goods stores and taught day and night to get his start in life. In his life on the plains he was never afraid of the Indians, although his great grandfather and great grandmother Compton were killed by the savages in Illinois while hunting bees. In 1864 Mr. McReynolds enlisted in Company I, One Hundred and Thirty sixth Indiana infantry, and served until the close of the war. In politics he is a Democrat. On June 5, 1868, Samuel McReynolds married Miss Elizabeth J. Young, daughter of Greenberry and Barthenia (Sinclaire) Young, and a native of Smith township, Posey county. Her father was a native of Posey county and his father, Jackson Young, came to this county from Virginia at an early date. Greenberry Young was a farmer in Robb township on the line between Smith and Robb townships, and here the wife of our subject was reared and attended country schools, and later the schools at Owensville. She taught school one term before her marriage. Mr. and Mrs. McReynolds became the parents of three children, one of whom died in infancy. Two daughters are living: Minnie Ettie, who married Dr. George C. Smith, of Poseyville, has one child; Elva Aline married I. E. Wilkinson and they live in Cynthiana, where he is a retired farmer. They have one child.

History of Posey County, Indiana
John C. Leffel, Editor
Standard Publishing Company
Chicago 1913.

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